Boozy Books: Trickster Makes This World

Hey guys! Welcome to Boozy Books! Sorry I’m late. It’ll stop as soon as NaNo is over, I promise. I’m glad I warned you ahead of time, though, or else I’d feel like I was being a real asshole.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a non-fiction book here on Friday. I’ve always tended to stick to the fiction I love because I don’t think a person should drink while reading non-fiction because non-fiction is for learning. It’s for having your brain at its sharpest… the ‘edit sober’ portion of good ol’ Papa Hemingway’s always-perfect writing advice. You need or want to learn? You don’t drink.

But, in deciding to do this, I have effectively cut myself off from half of the books I love. You know, I am… well, I am not a literature person. I love literature, I love to read good stories and lose myself in amazing worlds, and I’ve been known to get into arguments with random people over whether or not Shakespeare wrote his plays (he did). But I am, first and foremost, a lover of history. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to tell the story of humanity, preserve it, save it for as many of our children and our children’s children as possible. Our science, our inventions, our great moves forward as a people… I have never thought that was humanity. It has always, always been our past. It has always been history. So you’ll find me nose-deep in non-fiction, in primary sources, and getting into arguments over whether Shakespeare wrote an accurate Richard III (he did not), and you’ll find that more often. I am, simply put, a non-fiction lover.

So… fuck it. I’m sharing one of my favorite non-fiction books this week. Because I can. And because I want to. Those of you who know me and talk to me (seriously, guys… if you want to talk to me, follow us over on Twitter and it’ll be me talking back) know about Lucky. He is ridiculously popular among the writing community on social media (well, you know, the people who talk to me, anyway), and it’s actually throwing me into a spiral of anxiety regarding living up to that reputation he’s earned for himself. Lucky (birth name Jacob Trucco… in this life, anyway), also known as Loki, Hermes, Set, Coyote, Liar, Trickster… god. Original human name mostly lost to time. People want to know him.

Trickster Makes This World helped me develop Lucky. And probably explains why so many people love him so much. The Trickster archetype is change, and change is, invariably, creation. Trickster brings and takes, but even in taking is respected as doing what is necessary. Trickster is not evil, no matter what Christian scholars tried to do with pretty much all of them (except perhaps Hermes, but only because Hades existed to vilify unfairly). Kings (because, as you’ll learn reading this book, they’re almost invariably male) of the liminal space, the space between (those of you who know Lucky recognize this factor perhaps most of all). This book discusses all the great Tricksters from myth, talks about how it is the Tricksters more than any other that have formed our relationship with the world and the gods. And it talks about how our creations — our art, our music, our literature — are our own, in a way, expression of the Trickster within. Sort of. Lewis Hyde writes it better.

My recommendation is to drink tea with this book. Tea or water or coffee or whatever you want that makes you comfortable and takes you to a reading place. Like I said, I don’t like drinking when I want to read non-fiction, and this book in particular requires a relatively close reading to penetrate. If, when you’re done, you want to drink in order to get the thoughts flowing and the creativity going, I’d say something that makes you warm, loose, calm. A nice glass of Scotch, perhaps, or Bourbon. You know… Whiskey-type stuff. That always gives me that nice, warm feeling. OR you could always combine the two and do an Irish Coffee, or something. But, again, save that for when you’re done reading and just need to work through everything you’ve just taken in.

I’ll be back Sunday!

C

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